When beloved evangelical minister, Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is shot while protesting in front of an abortion clinic in Jackson, the residents start clamouring for the arrest of the clinic’s surgeon, Dr Stephen Nicoletti.
Detective Darla Cavannah is unwillingly pulled back from compassionate leave to solve the case before the city falls into complete chaos. Unfortunately her partner is a lazy, self-aggrandising Elvis impersonator who just happens to be a devoted member of Rev Jimmy’s flock & seems to be doing his level best to lay the crime firmly at Nicoletti’s door. Darla is just as sure that the enigmatic doctor is innocent, but is it her detective instincts or her growing attraction to him talking?
The Last Clinic is a debut novel, and yet it’s very well-written. The plot is multi-layered, dealing not just with the initial murder, but with corruption, intrigue, blackmail, moral debates, bereavement & romance. The novel held my interest from start to finish, through all the side-developments of the investigation. I did think the final denouement felt slightly rushed which I found a little unsatisfying, but the novel didn’t suffer unduly for it.
The characters were well-developed, varied and interesting. The Doctor is mysterious yet attractive, the Sheriff is down-to-earth and likeable, whilst the incompetent Elvis-impersonating cop & Darla’s sarcastic best friend provide some chuckle-out-loud moments. I would however have liked a deeper insight into Darla herself. I believe that The Last Clinic is intended as the first novel in a series, so hopefully we have more development of Darla’s character to look forward to. I certainly intend to read them!
The Last Clinic will be released on November 18th 2013.
Disclaimer: I was supplied with a free electronic ARC in return for my opinion which is, as always, entirely my own.